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'Six Gorges' Dam

China is reported to be considering building a 38 GW hydropower station on the Yarlung Tsangpo River in SW Tibet.  The largest hydropower installation in the world at present is the Three Gorges dam on the Yangtze River in China, with installed capacity usually given as about 18 GW.  There is already a 500 MW installation under construction further upstream on the Yarlung Tsangpo and four others planned.  38 GW is more than 50 times the capacity of the Manapouri Power Station, New Zealand’s largest.  The Yarling Tsangpo is said to be “the last great undammed river in Tibet”.  After passage through Himalayan gorges it becomes the Brahmaputra River in India.  Eventually, in Bangladesh [as the Jamuna River], it merges with the Ganges and Meghna Rivers in the world’s largest river delta.  The lower reaches of the Brahmaputra [“son of Brahma”] are sacred to Hindu.  As the catchment of the river includes areas of China, Tibet, India and Bangladesh, and as the delta regularly floods with loss of lives and property, there are bound to be international issues related to upstream storage management.
Sources: Guardian Weekly 28 May-3 June 2010 p.6; http://www.indianetzone.com/29/origin_brahmaputra_river.htm